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Abstract

Spitsbergen glaciers react rapidly to changes in the polar environment, which is expressed in differences in extent of their fronts and surface geometry. The Scott Glacier, which is situated in the NW part of Wedel Jarlsberg Land, is an example of the glacier that has undergone almost continuous recession since the Little Ice Age, interrupted by surges. The variations in recession are characterised based on multiannual data with particularly consideration of the period 1990–2005 and the season 2005/2006. Acceleration of front recession and lowering the surface was found only within the tongue up to a height of about 220 m a.s.l. Whereas, in the area situated in the zone of rock steps and above in the ablation zone, the change of glacier surface ablation (Dh) has been recorded compared to the mean annual recession for the period 1990–2005. Moreover, for the upper firn field, the positive surface ablation (DhS7 = +0.19 m) was observed. As the result of progressive reduction of the Scott Glacier mass, with the participation of other factors (bedrock relief among others), new surfaces of roche moutonnée are uncovering particularly in the tongue zone.
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Abstract

The cognitive aim of this study is to point to the optimum number of local government units and the optimum boundaries of spatial units in Poland with the assumption of minimizing the cumulated theoretical travel time to all settlement units in the country. The methodological aim, in turn, is to present the use of the ArcGIS location-allocation tool for the purposes of delimitation processes as exemplified by administrative boundaries in Poland. The rationale for the implementation of this study is that number and the boundaries of units of all levels of Poland’s current territorial division are far from optimum in the light of minimization of accumulated theoretical travel time to all settlement units in the country. It may be concluded that it would be justifiable to increase the number of voivodships from the current number of 16 to 18. Besides it would be necessary to introduce modifications in relation to units with regional functions. In contrast, the number of districts and communes should be reduced. A continuation of this research may go in the direction of including analysis of public transport network in the research, creating in this way a multimodal set of network data. This would illustrate, apart from the potential itself resulting from the infrastructure, also the actually existing connections.
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